The Redmi Note series continues to be a bestseller for Xiaomi, with the Redmi Note 7 and Note 7 Pro hitting 20 million sales in just six months. At a media event at Xiaomi's sprawling office in Beijing, the manufacturer showcased what's next for the series: the Redmi Note 8 and Note 8 Pro.
There's a lot to cover, so let's start with the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The phone is the first from Xiaomi to feature a 64MP camera, with the launch coming just a day after Realme announced its 64MP offering, the Realme XT. The Redmi Note 8 Pro has Samsung's GW1 imaging sensor, and there are three additional sensors at the back alongside the 64MP module: an 8MP wide-angle lens with 120-degree field of view, a 2MP macro lens, and another 2MP sensor for portrait shots. The camera configuration is identical to what Realme is offering, so it'll be interesting to see how the Redmi Note 8 Pro fares next to the Realme XT.
The phone has a 6.53-inch FHD+ IPS LCD display with a layer of Gorilla Glass 5. Unlike the Redmi K20 Pro, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has a waterdrop cutout for the front camera module. I'll talk about the design of the Redmi Note 8 series in the hands-on, but what you need to know right now is that all three color options Mineral Grey, Pearl White, and Forest Green — look great.
In terms of hardware, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is the first phone to be powered by MediaTek's Helio G90T chipset. It has Cortex A76 cores at 2.05GHz along with more energy-efficient A55 cores, as well as the Mali G76 GPU. MediaTek has optimized the chipset for gaming, and Xiaomi is touting that fact as a differentiator for the Note 8 Pro. To that effect, the device features liquid cooling to ensure the chipset doesn't get throttled during extended gaming sessions.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro is available in 6GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB, and 8GB/128GB configurations, and the device has a MicroSD slot, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and a 3.5mm jack. There's a 4500mAh battery under the hood that charges over USB-C and with 18W fast charging over USB PD.
The Redmi Note 8, meanwhile, is powered by a Snapdragon 665 chipset and has a 48MP primary camera at the back. It has the same design aesthetic, and is available in 4GB/64GB, 6GB/64GB, and 6GB/128GB versions. It's good to see that even the standard variant also comes with 64GB of storage as standard, and it has 18W fast charging as well.
Both phones have traditional fingerprint sensors, with Xiaomi noting that in-screen readers aren't as fast (even though the brand offers the feature on the K20 series). Another interesting addition is an IP52 rating for protection against splashes of water, with the feature limited to the Note 8 Pro. It's not the same as IP68 on Samsung flagships, but it is better than the P2i coating that was previously used on Redmi devices.
The 6GB/64GB variant of the Redmi Note 8 Pro retails for 1,399 RMB ($205), the 6GB/128GB edition is for 1,599 RMB ($235), and the 8GB/128GB configuration is available for 1,799 RMB ($265). The Redmi Note 8 also comes in three variants, with the 4GB/64GB model costing 999 RMB ($145), the 6GB/64GB for 1,199 RMB ($175), and the 6GB/128GB variant for 1,399 RMB ($205).
Once again, it's stellar pricing from Xiaomi, and it will be interesting to see how much the phones cost when they make their way to India and other global markets. No word on that just yet, but we should know more in the coming weeks. What are your thoughts on the Redmi Note 8 series?
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.
Looks exciting. The Redmi Note series is amazing value. Glad to see the 8 Pro finally has NFC. That's a big deal. But should I worry about the Mediatek chipset? How good is the Helio 90?
This is the first phone with the G90T, but it looks pretty good. A76 cores and Mali G76 is a great combination.
Yes you should
The architecture of Helio G90 series is quite similar to SD855 except for the fabrication process. the GPU is also pretty powerful including its HyperEngine technology
Wonder when Xiaomi will slow down. Literally only bought the Redmi Note 5 less than a year ago when the UK got these things properly! Now we're on 8!
Does this phone have Android one or plain Android?
64MP camera is exciting but MediaTek Helio G90T processor is the best in the lot.
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